This is Part 3 on our series on girls' and drama, blog posts written by Jimmie Davis. You can check out the other posts on this blog.
What causes drama, cont'd....
Physical and Emotional Development
During middle school time, the physical and emotional changes that take place in a girl's life can make a girl act and say things that are completely inappropriate. The hormonal changes may cause her to be more dramatic, emotional, and experience mood swings that cause a mother to wonder, “Who is thing girl and what did she do with my daughter?” I have noticed that drama is at its height in the middle school years and one has to sit down and laugh at some of the “silly” things that girls get bent out of shape about. However, to the girl, her situation is disastrous and is very real and traumatic. As girls grow into their high school years, the drama often changes to more realistic and even deeper issues.
Brain development is another factor that contributes to drama with teenage girls. The prefrontal lobe, or the good sense area of the brain, is not fully developed until the late teens and early twenties. However, the emotional center of the brain is very developed, causing girls to think with emotions and not good sense.
Hopefully, as a girl grows up she will begin to act more like a young adult than a child, but often girls grow up and carry childish ways into their adult life. This will depend on how parents and other significant adults have modeled getting rid of childish ways. I Corinthians 13:11 tells us to get rid of childish ways when we grow up. Childish ways consist of temper tantrums, selfish behavior, crying, pouting, physical aggression, tattle telling, taking your toys and going home, manipulating, and on and on we could go. These childish ways destroy love relationships whether it is a parent/child, husband/wife, friend to friend, small group, girls’ ministry, youth group or church. Teaching this timeless truth to teen girls and helping them learn to replace childish ways with appropriate mature ways can lessen the drama that exists in your girls’ ministry.
Focusing on all of these areas and mentoring girls through these aspects of their lives can help a girl be less dramatic. To be perfectly honest, God has created women to be emotional beings and there will always be drama to a certain extent, but as girls mature spiritually, physically, and emotionally, they will learn to deal with others in a more godly way. Teach girls the importance of forgiveness, provide avenues for affirming one another, and hold them accountable for their actions.
One last thing, and I apologize if it stings a bit: we as leaders must evaluate ourselves in all of these areas as well. Sometimes, we as leaders contribute to the drama and don’t even realize it.